Clubs Seniors enjoy cozy card party

On Tuesday, Jan. 21 eight players came to play Mexican Train Dominoes. They were all at one table. Russ Heikes won with low points and Marlene Amundsen was high.

This game was started at the Senior Citizens Center during the summer. Beginners, men and women are welcome.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, 24 pitch and 20 bridge players gathered inside out of the cold weather for a cozy card party.

Bridge winners were Shirley Riehle, first, Jack Stewart, second, Glennis Stewart, third Marlys Miller, blind bogey and Marie Parke, low.

Refreshments were furnished by Barb Kronaizl and Marlys Miller.

Come join us. No reservations are needed.

Why would you oil a pig?

The Clay County Historical Society met on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Austin-Whittemore House in Vermillion. We had our version of the Antiques Roadshow with local antique dealers giving information and estimates of values on items. The meeting was free and open to the public, so even though it was a cold night there was a nice turnout with many interesting items.

We were fortunate to have Joe Hoffman sharing his years of experience with us. Also sharing their expertise were Cleo Erickson and Maureen Goddard. Some of the items looked at were a cut glass candy dish and vase, an old Helgeson Pharmacy, Vermillion, DT glass bottle (from before we were a state), tin toy from the early 1900s, silver coffee server, cameras, old German army helmet, Wedgewood vase, pictures of all kinds, a salesman's sample pig oiler (which would lead to a lively discussion on exactly why we would want to oil a pig), head vases, doll, old Indian beaded tourist coin purse, sulfide marble with elephant inside, old silverware, jars, dressing table powder jar, teddy bear, etc., etc., etc. After the meeting, coffee and cookies were served.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 27. Everyone is welcome to come and join in the fun. The program will be on Valentine's cards, and we would like to encourage you to come and bring any old Valentines you may have. For further information, please call the Austin-Whittemore House at 624-8266.

Inwards will speak to woman's group

The Centerville Women's Midday Connection will meet Tuesday, Feb. 11 at the Centerville Steakhouse. Serving for the luncheon will begin approximately 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at noon.

Louisa Piersma of Inwood, IA will present a special feature on "aprons" and Anna Mae Nelson of Centerville will present musical selections.

Our speaker will be Mary Inwards of Parkers Prairie, MN. Come and hear how this former dental assistant/bridal gown creator opened her doors and heart to homeless children.

Please make your reservation (which is necessary) by Feb. 8 by calling Wilhelmina Jorgenson at 326-5562, MaryLou Thorson at 563-2678 or Lois Lounsbery at 763-5284.

Beck: Argus has duty to be controversial

Barry Vickrey called us to order for our weekly lunch at the Silver Dollar. Our guests today from Vermillion High School were Jason Kitto, Drew Lawrence, and Bart Miller. Other guests were Paula Tacke, Nathan Schock, Renee Lier, and Martin Avery. Art Mabry is someone you will not want to get to know under just any circumstances. He is Vermillion's new chief of police. We are all looking forward to having the friendliest possible (while still correct, of course) relationship with our new chief.

Jack Marsh introduced our speaker for the day, Randall Beck, executive editor of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader who gave us a lively talk and discussion about some of the glories and pratfalls that go with running a newspaper. Beck, who has worked much in his industry at places both well east and well west of here commended the people here in Siouxland for taking such a (relatively) avid interest in their newspaper. In Delaware or Southern California, he reported, not nearly as many people seemed to key in on the performance of their local newspapers nor even, indeed, read them much. But hereabouts he hears regularly from his readers, both the disgruntled and the gruntled.

He made out a case that the Argus-Leader has, through its good reporting, earned enough credit with the public that it can offer up some stories and editorials that raise troublesome or even unpopular issues that need to be discussed. (Recent item: the series on the police force in Sioux Falls.) And, credit or no, he made the excellent point that no other newspaper on earth was likely to do as much by way of raising local, troublesome issues. He balked, however, at agreeing to lead a campaign for the introduction of a personal and corporate income tax at the state level to address the often deplored, especially by the Argus Leader, state of K-12 school funding. That, he opined, would overdraw their (present) "credit line."

With regard to the unavoidable question about the recent A-L headline calling Daschle's candidacy for the presidency, he noted that, well, you screwed up sometimes for three to four hours, approximately, the headline was apparently correct. In that case, at least, reading your Argus-Leader right off gave you a good chance at honing in on the ever changing truth of things. All in all, Beck gave us a good sense of what his job is like and why it is a work he goes to fondly.

One question that was not asked of Beck was "What exactly does the 'Argus' in Argus Leader mean? This reporter has occasionally pondered that question without, however, losing much sleep over it or doing the minimum research on it to answer that question � until just now. It turns out that the first meaning listed (in Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd Edition (unabridged) gives out Argus as one of the many presumably illegitimate offspring of Zeus, this one via a coupling with Niobe. This Argus went on to found the ancient city of Argos and, indeed, Webster tells us, the entire Argive race, which, no doubt required further illegitimate goings-on. But lest you think we should modernize the Argus-Leader's title to, say, Bastard-Leader, let us hasten to move unto the second definition of "Argus," which reads "A monster, human in shape, but with a hundred eyes, of which some were always awake, until Hermes charmed them to sleep and killed him" which leads, quite naturally, to the third meaning, "Hence: one very vigilant; a watchful guardian." Presumably it is this third meaning � there is a fourth and fifth, but never mind ��that our metropolitan newspaper to the north would have us take as its banner. And it imposes a heavy duty. Plus you've got to keep one of your eyes out for Hermes.

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